Hand luggage rules: Can you take cheese on a plane in a cabin bag? Restrictions revealed


Flights see holidaymakers travelling with a huge variety of things in their hand luggage, from essentials to gifts and souvenirs. Hand luggage rules can be confusing, however, with airport security clamping down on a plethora of items. Food is often a source of confusion, especially as some types are forbidden and others accepted. Cheese can baffle some passengers – will it be allowed through airport security in cabin baggage or not? This is the latest travel advice. 

Hand luggage rules when boarding a plane in the UK mean travellers can’t take any liquids over 100ml.

You may not think cheese is classed as a liquid, but, in fact, the popular dairy product could well be.

Soft cheese can melt and therefore turn into a liquid – so airport security counts it as such.

Such soft cheeses include brie, camembert, goat’s cheese, cream cheese and more.

Holidaymakers are much better off packing any soft cheeses in their hold luggage to avoid confiscation.

Fortunately, hard cheese is not a problem and can travel in your hand luggage if necessary.

If it’s a particularly smelly cheese, however, you may want to put in in your hold bag to avoid stinking the plane out.

For travellers who do intend taking food through airport security, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has issued advice.

“Food items and powders in your hand luggage can obstruct images on x-ray machines,” said the FCO.

“Your bags may need to be checked again manually by security. You can put these items in your hold luggage to minimise delays.”

Other foods to watch out for are certain bottled foods or delicacies in jars. For instance, olives may not seem like a liquid, but if they’re stored in brine they will be. The same goes for foods such as sundried tomatoes, capers, gherkins and so on.

Remember, foods such as honey, marmite, Nutella, jams and chutneys also count as liquids.

The jars will need to be under 100ml or they’ll be confiscated by security.

Banned items aren’t just limited to liquids, however. Passengers must not bring pointed or edged weapons and sharp objects on board. 

In addition, guns, firearms or similar weapons are prohibited while explosives and flammable substances are also not allowed.

Chemical and toxic substances which could pose a risk to the health of passengers and crew, or threatens the security or safety of the aircraft or property are also banned.


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